Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Trump lets states block some Planned Parenthood money

President Donald Trump just signed a law that could make it a lot easier for the government to defund Planned Parenthood.

President Trump quietly signed legislation Thursday that rolls back an Obama-era rule protecting certain federal funds for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide legal abortions.

The rule was finalized shortly before President Barack Obama left office in January.

"We would never abandon the women who count on us in exchange for cash", Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, told The New York Times at the time. "Title X-funded clinics play a vital role in our health care system, with over four million women receiving family planning and preventive care at these clinics each year".

Jim Sedlak, executive director of American Life League and founder of STOPP (Stop Planned Parenthood International), added: "Our supporters contacted their members of Congress asking them to vote yes as this bill made its way through the House and the Senate".

Other states may want to follow the state's lead in coming up with funding, Nelson said, in case federal money for family planning services is withdrawn. The bill's passage was secured when Vice President Pence, who tried to defund Planned Parenthood as governor of IN, cast the tie-breaking vote IN the Senate to approve the legislation.

The measure overturns a rule finalized in the last days of the Obama administration that said states could deny family planning funds to an organization only if it were incapable of providing those services.

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The law is a gain for anti-abortion conservatives bent on defunding Planned Parenthood and Trump himself.

More than a dozen states, including Arizona, have tried withholding funds from Planned Parenthood in recent years.

While congressional Republicans have overturned several Obama-era rules easily under the CRA - which allows lawmakers to nullify regulations within 60 legislative days of enactment as long as the president agrees - the elimination of the Health and Human Services regulation was more controversial.

Democrats and abortion rights advocates said it represented an attack on women.

Question: Why are taxpayers funding Title X "family-planning grants" in the first place?

Roughly 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's operating budget - about $536 million - relies on federal dollars.

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